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Pepper Spray

What Is Pepper Spray Made Of?

Oleoresin Capsicum is the ingredient used to make Pepper Spray. So what is Oleoresin Capsicum? It is basically the resin from fatty oils, mixed with the capsicum to create a wax like substance that “sticks” to the surface being sprayed. Capsicum is the genus name for most pepper plants, including your ordinary green pepper. The active ingredient that makes Pepper Spray work as a self defense weapon is actually Capsaicin, which is derived from the fruit of the pepper plant. The Capsicum is finely ground, Capsaicin is extracted and evaporated, and what is left is the waxlike substance called Oleoresin Capsicum, or as most of us call it….Pepper Spray.

Capsaicin is also used in a mild form for medical purposes, as a pain reliever for arthritis and muscle aches. But here, we will examine its uses as a self defense tool.

 

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How does Pepper Spray Work?

Capsaicin, which has been extracted from the fruit of the hot peppers is an inflammatory agent, that causes a burning sensation in the eyes, mouth, skin and throat. It will temporarily cause coughing, runny nose and difficulty breathing. Spray towards the face of an assailant for the most effective results.

How Long Will The Effects Of Pepper Spray Last?

Depending on the strength of the Pepper Sprays Scoville Heat Unit and Capsaicin, someone who has encountered defense spray will feel the effects anywhere from 15 minutes to several hours. This will ensure plenty of time for you to immediately get away when attacked, and contact local police for assistance and identification. Most Pepper Sprays manufactured today also include a dye that will stay on the skin for several days, it aid in locating the perpetrator.

Is Pepper Spray Lethal?

It has been determined that Pepper Spray will not kill anyone, except in very rare situations of prior medical conditions, or perhaps a rare allergic reaction. Most people that have been sprayed, will fully recover within several hours, with no adverse affects.

Does Pepper Spray Expire?

The Pepper Spray itself never loses its heat, but it may not spray as far over time, as the aerosol component of the can may break down and leak out. Most Pepper Sprays have an expiration date stamped on the can, but should probably be replaced after 2 years, especially the smaller Key Chain Sprays. Pepper Spray should also be kept at room temperature, if possible, to prolong the life and reduce aerosol leakage, since excessive heat can break down the propellant quicker.

How Can I Be Sure My Pepper Spray Still Works?

I would suggest to test your spray once every 6 months. Pepper Spray is relatively inexpensive, and most include at least 6 to 10 one second bursts. Find an open area, preferably on a day when there is not too much wind. Make sure you stand upwind and let out a one second shot. Set up a target and see if you can hit it. Not only is this a good time to see if the can is still working, you also get to practice using the spray and will be more familiar with how to control it, in an emergency situation. If it comes out in droplets instead of a steady stream, it is time to replace it.

Is Pepper Spray Legal?

Most states will allow you to carry Pepper Spray, though many do have certain restrictions like strength of the spray, size of the can and whether you can carry openly or concealed. It is best to check with your state and local laws before you purchase or carry a Pepper Spray across state lines.

Can Pepper Spray Be Carried On An Airplane?

While this may seem an obvious question, many people have forgotten they had their Pepper Spray in their purse, and had it confiscated at the TSA checkpoint. You may be able to carry it in your checked luggage, but I would certainly notify the airline and make sure it is in a sealed container and locked so it does not engage while under pressure in flight. I would suggest just leaving it home.

So, What Is Oleoresin Capsicum? Well I'd say it's some very hot pepper juice that you need to carry, in case of an emergency situation!